With continuous technological advancement, the total time spent on electronic gadgets is continuously rising, exposing us to risk of developing pain and stiffness in our neck & shoulders. Also popularly known as ‘tech neck’, a condition which results from bending our head down or forward to look at our smartphones, tablets or computers.
We’ve become so used to having Internet access r at our fingertips. While being so connected allows us to browse through current events and social networks conveniently. This modernization is likewise negatively affecting our spinal health.
Average head in a normal position weighs about 10 pounds, which the neck can easily support. However, the action of leaning forward or downward to look at the device puts up to 40 pounds of extra stress on our neck, resulting in a number of symptoms called tech neck.
Symptoms of Tech Neck
Stiff neck, headaches, neck spasms and pain between the shoulder blades are typical indicators of Tech neck. The discomfort can be prolonged and chronic, or flare up with severe, stabbing pain.
Additionally, the continuous pressure on the neck muscles exerts even more strain on the spinal discs which may swell or rupture, resulting in pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs or arms. Injured discs are a severe orthopedic condition that may require surgery to repair.
Relief from Tech Neck
If you notice any indications of tech neck, the best part is there are measures you can take to get relief from pain & stiffness. Most remedies include toning your neck muscles and taking timely breaks from the screens.
Stretch and Strengthen Neck Muscles
Strengthening & stretching neck, chest & upper back muscles may neutralize the stress of the forward leaning posture that contributes to tech neck. To achieve this, exercises such as ‘upward facing dog’ and ‘baby cobra’ can help get the head and spine in proper alignment
Keep Your Devices at Eye Level
Always keep your device at eye level whether it is your smartphone or tablet or a desk computer. This will help to prevent leaning forward or bending down and putting pressure on your neck. Choosing a right desk and chair along with sitting position will help you ensure your computer stays at eye level avoiding extra pressure on your neck & shoulders.
Take a Break
Taking a quick three to four minutes of break every half hour to get up and move around can be the best option for people whose job demands long working hours at a computer screen. Shifting your position frequently changes your posture out of the alignment that causes strain & tight muscle. You can choose to perform some easy stretching exercises such as tucking your chin into chest and moving it up towards upward or leaning your head on one shoulder & then slowly switch to another shoulder.
If you doubt you are suffering from tech neck, our renowned orthopedic specialists at Bone & Joints 360 can help eliminate your discomfort while recommending ways to support your spinal health. Get in touch with our healthcare team to discuss your medical condition.